Are Impatiens Safe For Cats?

For cat owners who love gardening, ensuring that their plants are safe for their feline friends is a top priority. One common question among cat-loving gardeners is whether impatiens, a popular and colorful garden plant, are safe for cats.

This article will provide a comprehensive look into the safety of impatiens for cats and what precautions you should take.

Understanding Impatiens

Impatiens, also known as “Busy Lizzies,” are a favorite among gardeners for their vibrant colors and shade-loving nature. They are commonly used for borders and container gardening. However, when it comes to their safety for cats, there are a few things to consider.

Are Impatiens Toxic to Cats?

The good news for cat owners is that impatiens are generally considered non-toxic to cats. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), impatiens are not listed among the plants known to be harmful to cats. This means that they do not contain any known toxins that would cause serious harm if ingested by a cat.

Mild Gastrointestinal Upset

While impatiens are not toxic, like many plants, they can still cause mild gastrointestinal upset in some cats if ingested. Symptoms might include:



Mild stomach discomfort

These symptoms are typically mild and often resolve on their own. However, if your cat appears to be in discomfort or the symptoms persist, it’s best to consult your veterinarian.

Cats and Plant Chewing Behavior

Cats are known to chew on plants for various reasons, such as curiosity, and boredom, or to aid in digestion. Even non-toxic plants like impatiens can be a target for curious cats. To minimize the risk:

Provide Cat Grass: Offering a safe alternative like cat grass can redirect their chewing instincts away from your impatiens.

Keep Plants Out of Reach: If your cat is a known plant chewer, consider keeping your impatiens in a location that’s out of your cat’s reach.

Using Impatiens in Your Garden

Knowing that impatiens are safe for cats, you can feel more comfortable using them in your garden. Here are some tips for incorporating impatiens:

Create Cat-Safe Zones: If your cat has access to your garden, ensure that all plants in their reach are non-toxic. Impatiens can be a colorful addition to these areas.

Monitor Your Cat: Keep an eye on your cat’s behavior around the garden. Even with non-toxic plants, it’s good to be aware of what they’re nibbling on.

Precautions with Plant Care Products

While the impatiens themselves are safe, be cautious with fertilizers, insecticides, or fungicides used on the plants. These products can be harmful to cats. Use pet-safe products and follow the instructions carefully.

Signs of Plant Toxicity in Cats

If you’re unsure about a plant’s safety, it’s important to know the signs of plant toxicity in cats:

Excessive drooling

Pawing at the mouth

Difficulty breathing

Lethargy or weakness

Changes in eating or drinking habits

If you notice any of these signs or suspect your cat has ingested a toxic plant, contact your veterinarian immediately.


Impatiens are a safe and vibrant choice for cat-owning gardeners. While they are non-toxic, it’s always a good practice to monitor your cat’s interaction with any plants.

Providing cat-friendly indoor plants ensures the safety and well-being of your feline friend while allowing you to enjoy the beauty of plants like impatiens.



Verne is proficient in using computer software. He has worked as a programmer for many years. Scott enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

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